|America's Table: A Thanksgiving Reader 2002|
Since the mid-1800s, immigrants and refugees fleeing poverty and oppression in Europe, Asia and Latin America often traveled to America fortified with little more than hope and tenacity. They were drawn by America's promise.
"People kept arriving
As the cane fields dried
Flying bushes from another
Vegetables and tree bark
Popping out of luggage..."
Victor Hernández Cruz, The Lower East Side of Manhattan from El Coro, A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry
|"The future is a train of immigrants
dressed in prophecies,
Circling the mountainside like drumbeats."
Diane S. Mehta, America from Living in America:
Poetry and Fiction by South Asian American Writers
|We are each part of America's journey.
We did not leave heritage behind, like unwanted baggage, at immigration's door. It is a vital aspect of who we are as individuals and what we have become as a nation. Our differences enrich America in many ways.
"I believe that you have inherited from your forefathers an ancient dream, a song, a prophecy, which you can proudly lay as a gift of gratitude upon the lap of America."